Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Two Scrappy Double-Knit Polyester Quilts

Bowties, c. 1975, California
My quest for 1970s quilts has turned up two more colorful examples made of double-knit polyester. The first is a vibrant, multicolored Bowties quilt with hot pink, lime green, and a multitude of other solids and prints. The bowties run diagonally in the blocks, from upper left to lower right, which gives the quilt a wonderful sense of movement.

25-Patch Grid, c. 1970, Michigan
The second quilt is a wonky, multicolored 25-Patch Grid quilt from Michigan. This quilt is reminiscent of the utility quilts from the Southeast, and has what I like to call a casual geometry. The patches are roughly the same size and shape, but not exact. Horizontal strips jump out, lending structure to the design, while the vertical strips between blocks blend in more.

So far, the sophisticated use of color is one thing I take away from my search for 70s quilts. In the 1850s red, white, and green were most prevalent. In the Depression Easter egg colors dominated. In the 1970s there was Technicolor, influenced by Pop Art, evolving multimedia, and a generation of film and television. The luxurious fabrics and high level of craft may have been mostly absent, but I feel the 1970s quilts stand out for their innovative use of color.


  1. Love both of these quilts. I am really enjoying these polyester quilts you have been showcasing here. The colors are so vibrant, they make these quilts spark.

  2. It's been a lot of fun developing an appreciation for what these quilts have to teach the world. When it comes to the use of color, I think the quilts have a lot to say!

  3. oh wow, fabulous! I love the second one. just incredible. It's not just that they use amazing colors, it's that the colors don't fade. wonderful.

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